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Solid - WWW 3.0


If you watched Sir Tim Berners Lee on Sky last night you could not have failed to be moved by his passionate concerns about his precious invention the world wide web.

He explained his original dream, then an experience in 2014 and finished off with 2 seismic events in 2016, one involving the US Election.

He knew social media could be used to manipulate people but for the first time saw this operating on a massive scale.

"I thought that my responsibility as a web user was to go and find the stuff which I appreciated, which I trusted, but now I think that everyone involved in the web realises the problem is that other people are reading stuff which is complete garbage and they're believing it, and they vote."

He went on to say that he believes democracy itself is under threat.

Sir Tim sees the core of the problem as the massive centralisation of his originally decentralised web.

"Instead of going from website to website, everyone's on one website, so the structure of people making great links to other blogs which we had after 10 years of the web is more broken. People don't follow links from one website to another, they sit on one website, and what they see is determined by the people who code that social network."

Sir Tim is too polite to name the network but there can't be more than a few candidates.

Between them, four or five giant corporations dominate everything we do online.

He has also launched a new project: Solid. It's effectively a new web; only this time he says he's going to get it right.

The key change is to do with data. On Sir Tim's original web, users' data was - and is - stored by the owner of the website or the app. On Solid, the choice of where you put your data is separate from your choice of service.

Your data - from your selfies to the money you send - is hived off into a separate area, called a pod, which can be linked to, just like the pages on a website. That gives people genuine control over where and how their data is deployed.

If it comes off, it would be a seismic change in the digital landscape.

"Some people are calling it Web 3.0," Sir Tim says.

And whereas previous attempts at what's known as re-decentralisation have foundered on public disinterest, this time Sir Tim feels the time is ripe.

#blockchain #cryptocurrency #timeisripe #decentralisation


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